1. Don’t need to close your eyes during mindfulness meditation.
2. Don’t need to sit still to do mindfulness meditation.
3. Staying present in the moment non-judgmentally, even while walking, eating or working, is what is truly being mindful.
4. Don’t need to shut off your mind as your brain is always going to be active, especially with a trauma history.
5. Don’t need to focus on your breath. Trauma victims find this especially triggering with unpredictable outcomes.
6. Mindfulness meditation is not for quick turnaround of results.
7. Mindfulness meditation is not for everyone!
Today was all about understanding the dialectics or doing both the acceptance and change of the client’s target (problem) behavior. Unlike CBT, which is focused on change purely, DBT focuses on finding a solution acceptable to both client and therapist that includes both approaches of solving the target behavior called the synthesis.
Then we dived into behavior therapy, specifically operant and classic conditioning. We did understand the positive & negative reinforcement and punishment concepts.
Following this, we did a case specific behavior chain analysis that is essentially a functional analysis of identifying the target behavior, recognizing the precipitating event or the antecedent in general behavior therapy language, in light of that day’s specific vulnerability factors for that client like lack of sleep or hunger etc. It is to be noted that, when identifying the precipitating event, we also want to know what thought & emotion led the client to do the target behavior- the culminating F it moment! These are the key controlling variables we want to track across chain analyses of various events of such critical nature over time. These will show a pattern, that we can then use to reinforce relevant skills that were used during such crises events , as identified as controlling variables. This is a good way to problem solve, is what I understand.
Well that’s it from me on DBT learnings so far ! Enjoy!
A Few Mindfulness Exercises to try today
- Mindful Breathing: This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time. All you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute, while breathing in & out slowly.
- Mindful Observation: This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful. Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two.
- Mindful Awareness: This exercise is designed to cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they achieve.Think of something that happens every day more than once; something you take for granted, like opening a door, for example.At the very moment you touch the doorknob to open the door, stop for a moment and be mindful of where you are, how you feel in that moment and where the door will lead you.Instead of going through your daily motions on autopilot, take occasional moments to stop and cultivate purposeful awareness.
- Mindful Listening:This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way. So much of what we see and hear on a daily basis is influenced by our past experiences, but when we listen mindfully, we achieve a neutral, present awareness that lets us hear sound without preconception.The idea is to just listen, to become fully entwined with the composition of the music without preconception or judgment of the genre, artist, lyrics or instrumentation.
- Mindful Immersion: The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in the moment and escape the persistent striving we find ourselves caught up in on a daily basis. Rather than anxiously wanting to finish an everyday routine task in order to get on with doing something else, take that regular routine and fully experience it like never before. Become aware of every step and fully immerse yourself in the progress.Take the activity beyond a routine by aligning yourself with it physically, mentally and spiritually.
- Mindful Appreciation: The point of this exercise is to simply give thanks and appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life; the things that support our existence but rarely get a second thought amidst our desire for bigger and better things.Once you have identified your 5 things, make it your duty to find out everything you can about their creation and purpose to truly appreciate the way in which they support your life
Practice & Enjoy your day!
Here is a simple way to connect to the majesty of the moment, wherever you are:
Pause for a moment.
Be with the sensation of breath filling the body.
Be with the sensation of breath emptying the body.
Enjoy the splendor of simply breathing.
Credits: Kris Moon